Riise shares an inspirational Steven Gerrard Istanbul anecdote

The ex Liverpool and Roma defender gives an insight to the dressing room atmosphere during the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’

John Arne Riise and Liam Carter
John Arne Riise and Liam Carter

Speaking to MaltaToday former Liverpool player and Betsson Ambassador, John Arne Riise opened up on what happened during interval of the infamous 2005 UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul, “We were 3-nil down at half-time against Milan, which at the time were, defensively the best team. Benitez quickly changed the tactics, we went to 3-5-2 then we started to hear the fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, it energised us. Steven (Gerrard), quickly rounded us up and said “ listen guys we’re here for the fans, let’s go out and try to win the second half, if we get a goal we can do it,” recounted Riise.

In the second half Liverpool managed to get the equalising goal in six minutes and went on to triumph over AC Milan in the penalties.

The Milan players of that time were long haunted by unfounded rumours that they were actually celebrating during the interval “I don’t think they were celebrating at half time.” said Riise. “However I think one or two players were over confident about the win, added Riise.

Riise lifting the Champions League trophy in 2005 after they defeated Milan
Riise lifting the Champions League trophy in 2005 after they defeated Milan

Riise went on to play for Fulham, Roma and APOEL amongst others. After his brief stint in the Indian Super League, the former defender founded his own athletes agency. “I’m trying to gather new contacts here in Europe, I spoke to Valletta FC on Monday and we are seeking the possibility of getting Norwegian players to Europe and also facilitate the move of Maltese players to bigger leagues.”

In addition to that, the ex Norwegian International said that “He would have loved the opportunity to play under German Manager Jurgen Klopp " I'm jealous Klopp’s attacking style of football, the way the full backs go forward, it all fits my style of play, expressed Riise.

On Liverpool’s new left back Andrew Robertson, Riise frankly said that “When they signed him, I didn’t think he was the best acquisition, however he has really impressed me so far he’s strong, he’s agile, he just needs to replicate this form for the years to come.

The 37-year-old spent seven years at Liverpool playing 348 times and scoring 31 goals, winning the Champions League, the FA Cup and the League Cup with the reds. During his career he played for several clubs, including Fulham, Roma, Monaco, Aelesund with whom he started his career in 1996, APOEL, Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC.

The interview with Riise was made possible by Bettson Group.